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A central Ohio woman was scammed out of $12,000 by two women who said they wanted to split $150,000 in found money with her.
Seventy-eight-year-old Francis, who did not want to be identified by her last name, said that she thought two women were being friendly when they approached her in the parking lot of a Kroger store in Mansfield.
“I was so confused, I didn’t know what hit me,” Francis said.
The women showed her a wallet with $150,000 inside and asked her if she had dropped it.
“I’d never seen that much money in my life,” Francis said.
The women then offered Francis a deal – to split the money if she paid to insure the money.
Francis told detectives that the women convinced her that there was a man at a local Verizon store who knew how to insure the cash and needed the serial numbers.
The woman said that the two scammers convinced her to go to her bank and withdraw $12,000 in cash for insurance money.
Francis said both the bank teller and manager tried to convince her to take a check rather than cash, but she did not listen.
If she had heeded their advice, she would still have her $12,000, Francis said.
“The only thing I could think of was, ‘If I get the $30,000, I will have a wonderful trip for my family,’” Francis said.
She met the women again in the Kroger parking lot.
Francis said that she gave the two women the $12,000 but asked if she could meet the man who insured the money.
She said that when she walked into the Verizon store, no one knew what she was talking about.
“That’s when the lights when on,” she said. “I knew I’d been had.”
When she got back in the car, the two women were gone. They left behind the bank bag – containing just $62.
The 78-year-old said that she is crushed with the guilt of being too trusting.
“I really don’t care about the money,” Francis said. “It’s not the money, it’s my dignity that’s fallen down.”
Detectives are urging anyone who may be approached by someone trying this scam to either drive away or call 911 immediately.
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